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View, New York City, Henry Rile, Lower Manhattan, Battery Park, Five Points, City Hall, Financial District, Antique Drawings, 1914


Henry E. Rile
New York in the Days Gone By of Old
Pen and ink and pencil on paper
New York: c. 1914
Most on sheet measuring 11 x 14 inches, a few smaller
$375 each

Various Drawings Shown Left

Castle Garden and Battery Park, 1850
Odd Fellows Hall, center Market Broad Street, 1861:Sold
Old House in Rector Street, 1870:Sold
Old Houses of Beekman and William Street, 1859:Sold
First Royal Exchange Broad Street
The Royal Exchange Broad Street, 1753
The Old Church in Battery Fort, 1642
Residence of Gov. George Clinton on Pearl Street, opposite Cedar Street, 1850
Broadway Theatre near Pearl Street, 1850
The Schoeinge. Street piling on the East River near present Coenties Slip, 1658
Dutch Cottage in Beaver Street, 1679
Five Points, 1829
Corner of Pearl and Chatham Streets, 1861
Frankfort Street, opposite Gold Street, 1859
Old Merchants Exchange, Wall St.
Fly Market, Front Street and Maiden Lane, 1816
Five Points, Orange and Cross Sts., 1859
Five Points House of Industry and Five Points Misson on site of Old Bewery, 1859
Baptist Church, Oliver St., East of Chatham, 1808
Old Houses and Tenements,Baxter St., 1862
Masonic Hall, Broadway, between Duane and Pearl Streets, 1830

Henry E. Rile drew this series of views of places in Manhattan at the turn of the century. Some of the drawings were on site, and others were based on historical prints that had been published in the 19th Century in New York City annual Corporation Manuals and other sources. Together, Rile’s drawings record the City of old, from famous landmark buildings, churches, and mansions to simple tenements uptown. Commerce and bridges on the East, Hudson, and Harlem rivers are documented. The financial district Wall Street area, Castle Garden in the Battery, and midtown, from the late 19th Century to the turn of the Century are well represented. Scarce views of the Upper East Side include a stone mansion known as Smith’s Folly on 61st Street and First Avenue, and an African-American Church on 85th Street near Second Avenue.

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Rile’s style shows great attention to detail, mixed with a folk art quality, that imbues them with his love for the City. These drawings possibly served as a proposed manuscript for a book, though they were not published.

From a uniform series, most titled and signed by artist. Some of the drawings have images drawn directly on entire sheet, size of image varies leaving margins, but generally image fills page well. Some of the drawings have images on a separate sheet, mounted to the larger 11 x 14 inch sheet; size of image varies leaving margins, but generally image fills page well. Some images vertical; some horizontal. Outer margins on a few chipped, generally easily matted out. Some images uniformly browned. Some scattered foxing, short tears in margins, not obtrusive.

Additional information


20th Century